American Universities Maintain Dominance in Latest Shanghai Rankings

August 07, 2008

The Academic Ranking of World Universities, published annually by China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has been posted online.

American institutions continue to dominate the top echelons of the influential list: 54 percent of the top 100 universities are in the United States, according to an analysis, with Harvard retaining the top spot, followed by Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.

The only three non-American universities in the top 20 are the University of Cambridge, at number four, the University of Oxford, at number 10, and Tokyo University, in the 19th spot.

Chinese universities continue to be outperformed by other Asian institutions in regional powerhouses like Japan, but have improved their showing since last year and now occupy 18 spots in the Top 100 Asia Pacific Universities.

The list is not due to be published officially until August 15, but the new compilation has already generated a flurry of headlines in France, where the highest-ranking institution, Université de Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie), comes in three places down from last year at number 42.

Education minister Valerie Pecresse used the relatively weak showing of French institutions to underscore the need for reforms championed by the government.

The French Senate last month “proposed developing a new European university ranking system to counter the powerful Shanghai world ranking, which is said to favor English-language institutions.”—Aisha Labi